Bill Would Convene Grand Jury in Use of Deadly Force Allegations Against Police Officers

While it is late in the 2015 Legislature to introduce a bill, Rep. Marc Roberts has his new HB451 which says a grand jury will be called if the alleged crime involves a public official or deadly force used by a police officer.

Both instances are of interest in Utah.

Reportedly Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings tried to get a state court to call a grand jury in their investigation of former attorneys general John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff.

But the judges in charge of such a call declined to do so, media reports said.

And, like the rest of the United States, the questions of investigations of, and the charging of, police officers who kill a person in the line of duty have been questioned here and across the nation.

Several police killings, in fact, continue to boil in the Beehive State.

And a Salt Lake Tribune investigation shows that police killings are on the rise.

Prosecuting attorneys across the nation have been criticized for not filing charges against officers using deadly force, with some claiming the elected prosecutors need support from police unions and the law enforcement community to get elected and re-elected.

Roberts’ bill says there is “good cause” to call a grand jury in cases of misdeeds by public officials and deadly force by a police officer.